More of just back from… 🦁

Happy Friday after Thanksgiving Hidden Gem Travel community! I’m sending this newsletter a day later than usual since yesterday was Thanksgiving. I hope you had a memorable holiday with your family and friends and have plenty of leftovers to enjoy over the long weekend.

This week, I’m continuing the write-up of my incredible safari experience in Tanzania earlier this month. I am so very grateful to have had this experience and the ability to share it with you.

If you have a safari on your travel bucket list, Tanzania delivers. Read on for the scoop about going on safari in Tanzania (part two)…

Up, Up and Away

It was well worth the pre-sunrise wake-up call to be able to take a hot air balloon ride. Before takeoff, I saw the sunrise, a large hippo walking toward the water, and the process of blowing up an enormous hot air balloon.

Once airborne, the sensation of floating and peace is surreal, and viewing the Serengeti from above was truly breathtaking. I saw many animals traversing the plains but without a serious camera, I was unable to get quality photos. My memory will have to suffice. Luckily, I had binoculars which are essential on safari.

A glass of champagne is customary at the end of a hot air balloon ride – cheers!

💎 Hidden Gem Tip: If you’re already intrigued, you can schedule a chat with me here.

Tanzania’s Border with Kenya

After the balloon ride, we drove to the Kenya border in the northern Serengeti of Tanzania. The wide-open, golden plains truly spoke to me. It was easy to see incredible wildlife, including a lion resting after a kill, a large group of elephants together under a lone acacia tree, and a leopard hiding in the brush.

To cap off this unforgettable day, the sundowner sunset gathering was majestic. The view from a large, flat rock was incredibly poignant as I sipped my drink and watched the sunset spread a rainbow of colors across the plains. You may recall that a sundowner is cocktail hour at sunset in Africa.

💎Hidden Gem Tip: If you have a quality camera or can borrow one, be sure to bring it on safari. The same recommendation applies to good binoculars so you can see wildlife in the distance.

Special Rock Formations

On the drive to the airport the next morning to catch my second small charter flight to the eastern side of the Serengeti, I was not only impressed by the abundant wildlife but also the rock formations. The rocky landscape was created after a volcano eruption thousands of years ago and is beautiful. I saw a Lion King-type “pride rock” and a tree that had grown out of a rock. This tree’s roots were visible cascading down the side of the rock and had been bleached white by the sun.

Wildlife Bonanza

I kept a running list of the African wildlife I saw on this day (much of it up close to the 4×4):

  • Stalking leopard (looking for his next meal)
  • Superman lizard (he’s red and blue!)
  • Giraffes (eating, walking, resting)
  • Zebras (running in packs)
  • Wildebeests (literally thousands)
  • Wart Hogs (just like Pumba)
  • Cape Buffalo (gorgeous creatures)
  • Ostrich (the males are colorful and the females plain hues of brown)
  • Lilac-breasted rollers (stunning, colorful bird)
  • Fish Eagle (with a creature in its talons)
  • Hippos in the water (they are incredible when they open their mouths)
  • Crocodiles (between the hippos and the crocs, the water is extremely dangerous)
  • Hyena (they aren’t as ugly as you think)
  • Stay tuned for the next chapter of my safari adventure in Tanzania!

Make your own Wanderlist for Africa! As a reminder, Wanderlist is an online portal where you can research, explore, and create shareable lists of destinations and experiences. Share your list with me so I can make it happen for you! Check it out here!

Inspired? Reach out to me now for 2023 and schedule a chat here.

Follow my Facebook and Instagram pages this week for more travel inspiration.

Wishing you and your family continued good health,


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Hi, I'm Susan Wilson

I’m the founder of Hidden Gem Travel Consulting. As your personal travel advisor, I craft custom worldwide itineraries that astound and inspire you.


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